Discovery, Research, and Testing

StartX, a nonprofit startup accelerator, recently devoted an entire day to the role of design in early-stage companies. One panel included Laura Klein, Todd Zaki-Warfel, Christina Wodtke, and Mike Long. Each panelist had made their mark on how design is done in start-ups: Laura wrote the influential O’Reilly book on UX for Lean Startups, and…

An important part of any user experience department should be a consistent outreach effort to users both familiar and unfamiliar. Yet, it is hard to both establish and sustain a continued voice amongst the business of our schedules. Recruiting, screening, and scheduling daily or weekly one-on-one walkthroughs can be daunting for someone in a small…

It’s common in our field to hear that we don’t get enough time to regularly practice all the types of research available to us, and that’s often true, given tight project deadlines and limited resources. But one form of user research–contextual inquiry–can be practiced regularly just by watching people use the things around them and…

“Above all else show the data.” –Edward Tufte Survey responses. Product reviews. Keyword searches. Forums. As UX practitioners, we commonly scour troves of qualitative data for customer insight. But can we go faster than line-by-line analysis? Moreover, how can we provide semantic analysis to project stakeholders? Enter Wordle. If you haven’t played with it yet,…

Does your company have display booths at trade shows and conferences? Typically, these are marketing-dominated efforts, but if you make the case to travel, working the booth can be used for user research. Here’s how I’ve done it. Positioning and justification At times it can be a hard internal sell to justify the costs and…

October 29th, 2013

Context matters

Using eye-tracking to test email marketing

What makes a marketing e-mail or newsletter efficient? One can judge, for instance, by the number of users that opened the message or clicked on a specified element representing primary action, such as a product link or button. Those indicators measure user engagement precisely; however, they are limited to the last phase of interaction with…

October 22nd, 2013

Clicking Fast and Slow

Heuristics, bias, and deliberation in interaction design

Through social psychology and cognitive science, we now know a great deal about our own frailties in the way that we seek, use, and understand information and data. On the web, user interface design may work to either exacerbate or counteract these biases. This article will give a brief overview of the science then look…

At the heart of design are the stories that give meaning to the work. Andrew Hinton meditates on what stories have taught him about information architecture and the people inhabiting the places he’s helped design.

September 27th, 2010

The Stranger’s Long Neck

Gerry McGovern discusses the importance of task management

In this B&A podcast, Jeff Parks speaks with Gerry McGovern about the thinking that went into his new book. They discuss customers as strangers, the Long Neck, and task management — how to deliver and
measure what your customers want.

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